Monday, March 5, 2018

Justin Trudeau vs Free Speech Part II

So, in Part I, I talked about the Russian-origin "fake news" that supposedly destroyed Hillary Clinton's campaign (all on its own, with no help from the fact that Clinton was a terrible, uninspiring candidate, offering traditional Democratic voters more of the same rotten status-quo; who pissed-off the progressive base of the party by stealing the nomination from Bernie Sanders and then telling them "Fuck You!" by selecting a pro-war, pro-TPP right-wing Democrat for her VP; and who arrogantly ignored vital Democratic states like Wisconsin; and whose team said out loud that they were ignoring their base and going after conservative suburbanites) .... and I showed how this Russian "fake news" from Putin's dastardly "troll army" was, when all added up together, a molehill made out to be a mountain.

But it is this molehill that we are supposed to be afraid of. Our neo-liberal authoritarian rulers believe that "democracy" in the USA (and Canada) is so fragile, the citizenry so stupid and gullible, that we need to be protected from "foreign disinformation." I'll pick-up on this notion later on.

Right now I think it needs to be said that the first time I really noticed the term "fake news" was when Donald Trump kept using it to condemn any and all negative coverage of himself and his presidential campaign. Of course the concept behind "fake news" has always been around. We called it "propaganda," or "lies" or "bullshit" or "deceit," or any number of terms. Perhaps even "fake news" once in a while. FOX News was a notorious source of false facts, sins of omission, slanted editorials and other crimes against truth. As was right-wing (there really isn't any other kind though) Talk Radio, a-la Rush Limbaugh and Mark Levin. Stephen Colbert mocked this propensity with his concept of "truthiness," to whit; If something sounded semi-plausible and (more importantly) aligned with the preconceived ideas of the right-wing universe of "The Colbert Report," then it could be spoken of as if it were true.

But, again, the real popularization of the specific term "fake news" appears to have come from Trump. And this is interesting, because Donald Trump is a shameless con-artist. He's a liar. A fraud. He's a flim-flam man. He is the epitome of the sewer of mainstream junk culture in the US of A. By that I mean that racism, sexism, greed, violence, selfishness and crudity are far more mainstream than we'd all like to pretend. This is not a specifically US-American thing either. But only the USA has the resources to make an extravagant spectacle of it. And, Trump embodies it.

The reflexive defense mechanism of a liar/con-artist is to deflect attention away from their own lies and to go on the offensive against their accusers. Now, Trump is gifted with a low cunning and (for a certain segment of the population) charisma, but it's becoming increasingly evident with each passing day, that he is a moron. It's rather terrifying when you think of it. Imagine (for instance) that you meet someone and you start to have a conversation with them about the weather, where they're from, when the subway is going to arrive, and you start to idly imagine about this person's life, background, etc., and then this person says a couple of incoherent, nonsensical things until, suddenly their face turns out to have been a rubber mask and it falls off and it turns out that this "person" is actually a robot full of thousands of tiny gears and pulleys, powered by two mice on methamphetamines, running frantically on two exercise wheels. The thing that you thought was human is actually nothing of the sort, but a crude approximation of human.

Which is not to say that Donald Trump isn't human. He's just so shallow, so stupid, so unmoored by any sort of ethics or morality, that he seems half-formed. How does someone consort with prostitutes and porn-stars, divorce his wives when they begin to age, barge-in on naked teenage girls in the dressing room of the beauty contest he runs, and then shamelessly suck-up to "Evangelical Christians" and promise them he'll attack birth control and abortion access? (How do these self-identifying "Christians" overlook their own hypocrisy in supporting him?) The same way that late-Mayor Rob Ford professed to have "zero tolerance" for drugs and gangs but still smoked crack with gangsters, refused to resign when found out and went on to endorse the racist police policy of "carding" minority youth? One has to be completely shallow, Void of introspection. Crude, stupid, lazy, narcissistic, etc., etc., ... to behave, no, TO LIVE that way.

So, Trump has to call critical coverage of his failings as "fake news" or, IOW "lies" as a means of self-defense, since he's a total fraud. To do this he resorts to the whole idea of a corrupt "liberal" media that right-wing hypocrites and morons so love to wail about.

Unfortunately for us (and fortunately for Trump) his target (the "liberal media") is an easy one. Here are some complaints we on the Left share with many Trump supporters:

1. The media lies. (see: "Iraq", "Russiagate", protest movements)

2. The media is slanted.

3. The media is elitist.

4. The media serves the powerful.

Obviously the denizens of Trumpland and "Ford Nation" and "InfoWars" and Ezra Levant's "Bigotry Cruises" have their own spin on what they consider to be lies. These are such people as to notice that a sympathetic portrait of a Black person, or a First Nations person in the news is not 100% indifferent (and therefore "neutral") and choose to rail against that. But they share with us a disdain for the media's craven worship of "free trade." (At least we used to condemn corporate free trade deals. Alas, Trump Derangement Syndrome has got many leftists defending NAFTA.)

Basically the corporate media espouses the neo-liberal corporate agenda. It's inevitable. It's what they do. It's in their DNA. The problem for them is that the corporate neo-liberal agenda has fucked so many ordinary people over that left-wing and right-wing are turning against it in its entirety. "The center cannot hold." The elites cannot paper-over the shitty outcomes enough to hide the stench. That's why Trump destroyed his Repugnican rivals. They all clung to "free trade" and he promised to bring jobs back. It's why Bernie Sanders was filling stadiums with thousands of cheering supporters and Hillary Clinton was talking to gatherings of hundreds (or merely dozens). If any of the other Repug candidates had had a lock on the nomination of their party the way that Clinton did with the DNC, they would probably have defeated Trump as well. Hillary's people helped her through corporate media debates; manipulated the primary process and corrupted the voting at the primaries, in order to steal the nomination from Sanders. The largest proportion of the blame for Trump's presidency is Hillary Clinton's sense of entitlement.

But the reality for our elites is that the majority have turned against the system. As was the case in Germany in the 1920s and 1930s, these elites believe that your average right-wing shlub can be manipulated and controlled. Germany's capitalist leadership either assisted, or at least were sympathetic to, Adolph Hitler's rousing of their country's right-wing "rabble." Making scapegoats out of the Jews and other groups was tolerable. Fighting against the left-wing was excellent. It wasn't until it was too late that they realized they could not control the monster. It will be the same this time around. Which is not to say that Trump is the new Hitler. He's not even the new Mussolini. (He's not smart enough.) But the lumpen right-wing followers are just as capable now of supporting a new Hitler and dragging us all into the abyss as they were then. They're the same people. Perhaps some members of today's elite are dimly aware of this and are therefore hoping against hope that one of their own (Hillary Clinton, Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio) can somehow squeeze out a victory.

The 100% absolute danger is the rise of the Left. Right-wingers believe that society is dominated by impoverished weak people. That's why they go after the unemployed, minorities, immigrants, non-heterosexuals, etc. They call for "law and order" which only makes it easier for the state to dominate them along with everyone else.

Left-wingers [ON THE OTHER HAND!!!] believe that society is dominated by wealthy, powerful people. We believe that we live in an oligarchy and that therefore it makes much more sense to go after the oligarchs, the plutocrats, the capitalist exploiters, the enforcers of state power, the corrupt liberal and semi-fascist politicians. We call for human equality, human freedom, social justice, environmental sanity, fact-based public policy and increased democratization. Things that are incompatible with our rulers' self-interest. And given the comparison, it is no mystery why the oligarchs fear us more than they do the right-wing chumps.

But either way, the want us both silenced. Hitlers are unreliable, untrustworthy. Inconvenient. They get ideas above their station. They'd like us all silenced. And so that's what they're going to do.

And, sadly, I think I'll end this portion of this wider presentation here. I'm busy. Hope you liked the pikatuhcherrz I stolet from the innernet.

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